16 April 2014

Women Who Changed The World, Part 2

Women Changers Part 2
The 2014 Women's Month Celebration is the best time to highlight the "drivers of change" who untiringly volunteered themselves in times of disaster, conflict and calamity. This celebration recognizes the role of women in the rehabilitation process and their over-all contributions to progress.

We started to feature those amazing women through out history in our last post. However, since there are just a very limited space to name a few of those women, we have to pause for awhile and reflect on the great deeds that they have done for us.

As we continue to recognize women’s resiliency, strength and contributions to progress and maybe even discuss the gains, gaps and challenges in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), here are the second batch of great women in history:
  1. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) - Harriet Beecher Stowe was a life long anti slavery campaigner. Her novel "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" was a best seller and helped to popularize the anti slavery campaign. Abraham Lincoln would later remark her books were a major factor behind the American civil war.
  2. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) - Elizabeth Stanton was a social activist and leading figure in the early women's rights movement. She was a key figure in helping create the early women's suffrage movements in the US. She was the principle author of 'Declaration of Sentiments' in 1848.
  3. Queen Victoria (1819-1901) - Presiding over one of the largest empires ever seen, Queen Victoria was the head of state from 1837-1901.Queen Victoria sought to gain an influence in British politics whilst remaining aloof from party politics. She came to symbolize a whole era of Victorian values.
  4. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) - By serving in the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale was instrumental in changing the role and perception of the nursing profession. Her dedicated service won widespread admiration and led to a significant improvement in the treatment of wounded soldiers.
  5. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) - Susan Anthony campaigned against slavery and for the promotion of women’s and workers rights. She began campaigning within the temperance movement and this convinced her of the necessity for women to have the vote. She toured the US giving countless speeches on the subjects of human rights.
  6. Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) - One of America’s greatest poets Emily Dickinson lived most of her life in seclusion. Her poems were published posthumously and received widespread literary praise for their bold and unconventional style. Her poetic style left a significant legacy on 20th Century poetry.
  7. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) - A British suffragette, Emily Pankhurst dedicated her life to the promotion of women’s rights. She explored all avenues of protest including violence, public demonstrations and hunger strikes. She died in 1928, 3 weeks before a law giving all women over 21 the right to vote.
  8. Marie Curie (1867-1934) - Marie Curie was the first women to receive the Nobel Prize and the first person to win it for 2 separate categories. Her first award was for research into radioactivity (Physics 1903). Her second Nobel prize was for Chemistry in 1911. A few years later she also helped develop the first X ray machines.
  9. Emily Murphy (1868-1933) - Emily Murphy was the first women magistrate in the British Empire. In 1927 she joined forces with 4 other Canadian women who sought to challenge an old Canadian law that said, "women should not be counted as persons".
  10. Rosa Luxemburg (1870-1919) - A leading Marxist revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg sought to bring Social revolution to Germany. She wrote fiercely against German imperialism and for international socialism. In 1919, she was murdered after a failed attempt to bring about a Communist revolution in Germany.
  11. Helena Rubinstein (1870-1965) - Helena Rubinstein formed one of the world’s first cosmetic companies. Her business enterprise proved immensely successful and later in life she used her enormous wealth to support charitable enterprises in the field of education, art and health.
  12. Helen Keller (1880-1968) - At the age of 19 months Helen became deaf and blind. Overcoming the frustration of losing both sight and hearing she campaigned tirelessly on behalf of deaf and blind people.
  13. Coco Chanel (1883-1971) - One of the most innovative fashion designers, Coco Chanel was instrumental in defining feminine style and dress during the 20th Century. Her ideas were revolutionary; in particular she often took traditionally male clothes and redesigned them for the benefit of women.
  14. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) - Wife and political aide of American president F.D.Roosevelt. In her own right Eleanor made a significant contribution to the field of human rights, a topic she campaigned upon throughout her life. As head of UN human rights commission she helped to draft the 1948 UN declaration of human rights.
  15. Annie Besant (1847-1933) - Annie Besant was a campaigner for social justice, advocate of women's rights and later member of the Theosophist society. She also actively campaigned for Indian independence.


11 April 2014

Baguio Child Killer Deserves The Most Painful

Suspect: Philip Avino
This is another senseless crime committed against children and whose motive is as flimsy as blaming onions for making you cry during a sad movie.

The gruesome scene occurred on last 6 April 2014 in Baguio City. The casualty: five persons, including three minors.

Police director Sr. Supt. Rolando Miranda identified the fatalities as student Jackelyn Kale Nociete, 19; her brother Joey Nociete Jr., 9; their housemaid Jonalyn Lozano, and Joey’s playmates Dave John de Guzman, 9, and Raymond del Mundo, 8.

All of the victims sustained multiple stab wounds. Jacqueline, a student, had 18 stab wounds; Joey was stabbed 14 times; Lozano 12 times; De Guzman eight times; and Del Mundo five times. They were all declared dead on arrival at the Baguio City General Hospital and Medical Center.

The killing occurred before 6:30 P.M. in a rented unit of the Nocieta family at the 4th floor of Chan Building, 3rd Kayant St., Kayang Hilltop, Baguio City.

Vilma Nociete, mother of Jackelyn and Joey, said her daughter and son texted her at 5:00 P.M. saying that they have angry visitors looking for their father. She rushed to their unit but was shocked to see the victims bathing in blood.

Police are hunting now down the suspect identified as Philip Tolentino Avino a.k.a. "Michael Geronimo," between 31 and 33 years old, a market porter, originally from Sta. Mesa, Manila. A PhP 100,000 bounty was already placed on his head and, hopefully, more will be added later.

Avino was tagged as the former live-in partner of a waitress employed by the Nociete family, said Miranda. The waitress, who requested that she not be named, identified the suspect through the bloodied short pants and belt he left at the crime scene. She added that the belt was a gift from her.

Miranda said a manhunt is under way. He believes that the suspect has fled to Cubao in Quezon City.

It was the worst recorded crime in the city, according to Public Information Officer Senior Superintendent Andrew Cayad.

"The last time a gruesome crime happened here was in 2008 when a man killed three people after a quarrel with his girlfriend," said Cayad.

The motive is still unclear and nobody can really say what prompted the suspect to include innocent children in his murderous rampage. However, some say that whatever his reasons are is not important anymore. Once he killed the children, the suspect lost his chance to explain his side in the matter.

Hence, to save taxpayer's money, somebody should deliver justice to the suspect's doorsteps in the most painful way possible.
The suspect surrendered to Vice Mayor Isko Moreno on 8 April 2014.

The surrender came after Moreno talked to Barangay chairwoman Chit Tolentino and SPO3 Jeff Sta. Ana, who are the aunt and brother of the suspect, Philip Avinio, alias Michael.

The suspect was found in a bus station along EDSA, wearing a hooded jacket. Manila police immediately arrested the suspect, who denied having anything to do with the massacre.

"Nasa bus na po ako nun, paluwas dito, nung nangyari ang krimen," Avinio said.


10 April 2014

UN Statement on the RH Law Ruling

UN Philippines
Leaders of various public and private institutions in the country expressed relief that the Reproductive Health law was upheld by the Supreme Court over a year since its passage. Majority are in agreement that the eight provisions struck down as unconstitutional would not hinder its objectives. They also praise the administration of President Benigno Aquino III for pushing what was tagged one of its most enduring legacies.

However, the thrill of the law's constitutional passage was not confined to majority of Filipinos only. The commitment of the government to attend fully to the needs for maternal care of millions of mothers was also recognized by the United Nations Philippines.

Below is the official statement released by Arlene Calaguian Alano, Communication Officer of the United Nations Population Fund:

08 April 2014

The United Nations in the Philippines welcomes today’s ruling of the Supreme Court of the Philippines which upheld Republic Act 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012. Together with the Filipino people, the United Nations celebrates this landmark ruling which recognizes the basic human right of Filipinos to reproductive health.

This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which placed people’s rights and dignity at the heart of development. It also affirmed sexual and reproductive health as a fundamental human right and emphasized that empowering women and girls is key to ensuring the well-being of individuals, families, nations and our world.

The ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report, a culmination of the review of the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, shows that while significant progress has been made worldwide on maternal health and gender equality, these successes are not reaching everyone equally. This is also the case in the Philippines, where especially the poor and marginalized women and girls have been left without universal access to reproductive health. Consequently, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has remained consistently high since 1993, and it is unlikely that the MMR target of 52 deaths per 100,000 live births will be reached by the 2015 Millennium Development Goals deadline.

The Supreme Court ruling hence comes at a crucial time. The full and speedy implementation of the law will be critically important in reducing maternal mortality and ensuring universal access to reproductive health care and also sets the country on the right track for the post-2015 development agenda. The UN expresses its support to the Government of the Philippines as it now moves forward and leads the full implementation of the law.


08 April 2014

SC: RH Law Constitutional, But ...

RH Law
Finally, the controversial, but essential, Reproductive Health (RH) Law has been upheld by the country’s highest court.

Expected to transform the lives of millions of poor Filipinos, the constitutionality ruling of the RH Law struck down dozens of petitions against it by church groups and ensured the stunning defeat for the powerful Catholic Church.

"The RH law is not unconstitutional," Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te told reporters on 8 April 2014.

The law requires government health centres to hand out free condoms and birth control pills, as well as mandating that sex education be taught in schools. It also requires that public health workers receive family planning training, while post abortion medical care is also legalised.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino defied church pressure and signed the law into effect in December 2012, but the Supreme Court quickly suspended it after church groups filed petitions arguing it was unconstitutional.

"This monumental decision upholds the separation of church and state and affirms the supremacy of government in secular concerns like health and socio-economic development," legislator Edcel Lagman, the principal author of the law, said immediately after the verdict.

"A grateful nation salutes the majority of justices for their favourable ruling promoting reproductive health and giving impetus to sustainable human development."

However, some civil society groups expressed a slight disappointment when the SC struck down the following provisions of the law:
  1. Allowing minor parents who have suffered a miscarriage access to modern methods of Family Planning (FP) without written consent from parents or guardians;
  2. Imposing punishment on health care providers who fails or refuses to disseminate information on RH programs and services;
  3. Allowing married individual, not in an emergency or life-threatening case, to undergo RH procedures without the consent of the spouse;
  4. Imposing punishment on health care providers who fails or refuses to refer patients not in an emergency or life-threatening case to another health care service provider;
  5. Imposing punishment on any public official who refuses to support RH programs or hinder the full implementation of RH program;
  6. Allowing pro-bono RH service that will affect the conscientious objector in securing PHIC accreditation;
  7. Using the qualifier "primarily" for contravening Section 4(a) of the RH Law specifically the definition of abortifacient and violating Section 12 on right to life and protection of life from conception, and
  8. Imposing penalty health service provider who will require parental consent from the minor in not emergency or serious situations.
Many are wary that Section 7 of the law will be watered down to appease the Catholic Church. Fortunately, legal experts explained that the unconstitutional provision of Section 7 did not cover this statement: "All accredited public health facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods, which shall also include medical consultations, supplies and necessary and reasonable procedures for poor and marginalized couples having infertility issues who desire to have children."

At this time, many Filipinos here and abroad hailed the decision of the SC after they embraced less conservative views than the one imposed by the Catholic Church.

A recent survey carried by the respected Social Weather Stations (SWS) polling group said about 84 percent of Filipinos agreed that the government should provide free family planning options such as contraceptives.
Because of RH Law


Massacre Victims in Oriental Mindoro Deserve Justice

Justice for Massacre Victims
There house may be far, isolated and hard to reach, but it does not mean that the family who were killed should not get justice.

Worse and chilling about this incident is that the suspects did not even spare the life of a 2-year old boy when they opened fire at a house of a farmer around 8:00 AM in Sitio Tubigan, Barangay Labonan, Bonganon, Oriental Mindoro.

Senior Superintendent Ronaldo de Jesus, police director, said that killed in the massacre were Hector Saulong and his children Rick Rick, 25, and Stephanie, 23, as well as his grandson Prince Clarence, 2.

The massacre is the first heinous crime in Oriental Mindoro since 2004 when Army soldiers gunned down eight people in what was dubbed as the “Victoria massacre.”

Police are now hunting five men who, three months ago, were also accused of having killed the eldest son in the same family, David.

Saulong's wife, Josephine, survived because she was inside the bathroom when the suspects barged into their house. She identified Mark Anthony Flores, a distant relative of the victims, as one of those who served as "lookouts," along with a certain "Alex."

Flores later surrendered and denied any participation in the heinous crime. He claimed he was somewhere in Batangas when the incident occurred.

"Kilala niya po dahil magkakamag-anak sila. Hindi niya inamin na nandoon siya sa mismong lugar ng insidente. Ang sinasabi niya po nasa Batangas siya at that time," De Jesus told reporters.

A friend of "Alex" and Flores, identified as Reymero Maligo Jr., was also identified as a suspect. A manhunt operation is ongoing.

"Isa kasing posible na maging motibo, 'yung suspek po kasi sa pagkamatay ni David, kakilala po nina Mark Anthony at Alex at inaareglo po si Hector para iurong na 'yung demanda doon sa kakilala. Hindi po pumayag itong si Hector [at] parang 'yun po 'yung pinagsimulan," De Jesus said.